Belfast Telegraph

Segura sets first-team target

Liverpool's academy technical manager Josep Segura is determined to find more young talent for the first team having seen an improvement in the quality of players in his charge.

The path from the club's academy in Kirkby to the first team is not a well-trodden one, although Martin Kelly, former reserves captain Jay Spearing - currently recovering from an ankle injury - Dani Pacheco and Nathan Eccleston have made infrequent appearances in the current campaign.

"The most important thing for Liverpool is that these players aged 16, 17 and 18 years old go on to become professionals with this club," Segura, formerly an academy and B team coach at Barcelona, told liverpoolfc.tv.

"This is our target. It is clear that we must strive to produce great players to play for Liverpool for years to come and hopefully they can help us to win many trophies at first-team level.

"It is not an easy challenge for us but it is one that we must work hard to make a reality with every passing day.

"When I was at Barcelona we won the equivalent of the youth cup at under-18 level.

"Everyone was delighted and it is a great memory, but only five players went on to become professionals with the first team.

"I feel we have made good progress since I arrived here in the summer of 2009, the academy is growing and the level of our players is growing too.

"I said when I made the move here that the opportunity to work for such a great club was one I could not turn down.

"The aim is now to ensure that this great club is blessed with some of the best homegrown players of the future."

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